The Learning Design and Technology (LDT) concentration was created under the Applied Education Studies degree plan to serve students who are interested in working in multiple sectors as instructional designers and developers rather than teachers. This concentration does not lead to licensure like most undergraduate programs in the College of Education. Rather, graduates would be expected to work as instructional designers and content developers for different employers such as K-12 and private school systems, higher education institutions, government/military agencies, or business/industry. Some graduates may also be interested in entrepreneurial work, creating non-profits or startup companies to offer technical educational services, training, or new products.
Learning Design and Technology draws upon the fields of education, psychology, communications, and design to improve human performance and knowledge in all learning environments, particularly educational institutions and the workplace. Graduates will understand how to design, produce, and evaluate effective educational materials in varied formats such as software, apps, e-learning modules, online courses and curricula, games and simulations, VR/AR experiences, locative/spatial media, and more.
Learning Design and Technology is a relatively broad description of a field that focuses on applying what is empirically understood about how humans learn and improve upon performance to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and non-instructional processes and resources intended to improve learning and performance in a variety of settings, particularly educational institutions and the workplace.
At North Carolina State University, students can major in a Learning Design and Technology concentration at the undergraduate level (under the Applied Education Studies degree plan), in a Learning Design and Technology degree program at the master’s level, and in a Learning Design and Technology program area of study at the doctoral level (receiving a departmental PhD in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences with a concentration in LDT). Students are encouraged to obtain at least their B.S. in EGS-LDT and their M.Ed. in LDT to best position themselves for career opportunities that are more prevalent for graduates with a master’s degree.
This undergraduate program is closely paired with our master’s program in offering an Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s (ABM) option, allowing students to receive both their B.S. and M.Ed. in five years with a reduction of 12 credit hours that are double counted. Students must meet specific requirements to be eligible for the 4+1 program including a 3.5 GPA at the time of application (end of junior year), with that 3.5 GPA maintained until graduation with the B.S. degree. If an undergraduate student is not eligible for 4+1 at the end of their junior year, or loses their eligibility by a GPA dropping below 3.5, they can still apply separately for the regular, non-accelerated master’s program after graduation which requires a 3.0 GPA for unconditional admission.
According to a recent O*Net career opportunity report, the field for instructional designers and technologists has a faster than average growth rate at 10 to 14% annually through 2026, and North Carolina is projected to add 70 annual jobs in this area with an 11% growth rate. The noted median wages of $63,750 are attractive within the education sector. Prospective students interested in career opportunities in this sector can search on LinkedIn, government, and Chronicle of Higher Education job boards for “instructional designer” or “curriculum” opportunities to see the variety of jobs available to graduates.
Course of Study
Students in this concentration take general education program (GEP) courses from the Applied Education Studies curriculum, recommended courses (highlighted in blue) to obtain competencies in communication, design, technology, and entrepreneurship, and begin to take Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) graduate-level courses in their senior year. The curriculum plan can be viewed online, including the 4+1 Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s (ABM) option.
This concentration does not require a field experience, nor does it lead to
any teaching license. However, students are encouraged to engage in
technology development and/or instructional design type internship
experiences while in the program, that can be found both on and off-campus.
Also, students continuing on for the LDT master’s degree have the
opportunity to engage with internship providers by enrolling in ECI 652
(Field-Based Applications of Learning, Design, and Technology) taken as the
last or culminating course in the master’s program.